Two major cruise companies have been applying different strategies to stay competitive in the cruise market and here’s what travelers should know.
Princess Cruises —the American cruise line owned by the Carnival Corporation— just introduced a new bidding program. The company will allow guests to bid for cabin upgrades on selected cruise ships starting September 6.
Norwegian Cruise Line, on the other hand, is currently offering 40% off all cruises and fly-cruises until August 22. The offer applies for all accommodations and includes routes like the Canary Islands from November 2022, inactive since 2017.
Both companies are offering great deals for cruise lovers, but there are a few details travelers should consider.
Princess New Bidding Program
A few weeks ago, Princess Cruises announced 47 itineraries for 2023 and 2024 and now the company is offering passengers the possibility to travel more comfortably with a new bidding system.
The new bidding program will allow guests to upgrade to a cabin with an ocean view, a balcony, a deluxe balcony, a mini-suite, or a full suite. Depending on their budget, travelers will get to submit an offer from a certain price point.
John Padgett, Princess President, said: “Upgrading is a popular request from our guests and we’re pleased to deliver a process that lets them improve their stateroom category by making an offer that fits their budget and lifestyle.”
According to the information shared by Cruise Hive, guests will receive an email with an invitation to participate. Bids will be priced per person, but the stateroom will be available for two guests. After sending their bids, participants will receive another email informing if their bid has been accepted and they get the upgrade or if it was denied and they just stay at their original stateroom.
The new stateroom upgrade system will be implemented on five cruises that sail from the US first: Regal Princess, Ruby Princess, Caribbean Princess, Discovery Princess, and Enchanted Princess. By October, Princess Cruise Line expects to apply this system to all of its fleets.
The company is making its cruise experience more pleasant for travelers and finding strategies to create more inclusive programs. The cruise line also recently updated COVID-19 protocols and has removed vaccine requirements for most itineraries.
Norwegian’s 40% Discount
Travelers must act fast if they want to take advantage of this promotion. Those who have been thinking about sailing could have a great opportunity to book an itinerary at a great price. Norwegian’s 40% discount applies for all destinations until next Monday.
The company has also included its “Free at Sea” upgrade package —which costs around $175— and offers travelers great advantages like free wifi, free guided tours, unlimited drinks, and more.
Norwegian Cruise currently has itineraries in Alaska, across the Caribbean, and the Mediterranian Sea. The vessel Norwegian Sun currently has 8 to 14 days itineraries that include the Canaries and stops at Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. Norwegian Prima, another great ship from this cruise line, has itineraries in 2023 that include transatlantic sailing from New York to Reykjavik, Iceland.
The cruise line is also offering travelers airfare credit, up to $300 per person on selected routes in Europe. All these promotions will be available until next Monday.
Competitive Cruise Lines
Travelers must decide which promotion is a better fit for their travel plans. And while the cruise industry seems to be going “back to normal” with fewer COVID-19 restrictions and more sailing routes available, Princes Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have also recently canceled sailings.
Just a few days ago, Princess Cruises canceled 11 itineraries due to staff shortage, labeled “labor challenges” by the company. And this week, Norwegian Cruise Line canceled sailings planned for 2023 and 2024 due to supply chain delays. Both companies have offered compensation for customers, but might be an important factor to consider when choosing a cruise line service and promotion.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com